The Spectrum Your Art Needs
Salvador Dali’s paintings would not be best viewed by candlelight. A Cézanne would be ill-served by the harsh actinic radiation from a halogen bulb. Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” might look extra-creepy in a yellowish-orangey sodium vapor light, but is that what you want? We probably all agree that we should stick with the artist’s original vision.
The Future Lights the Past
There are applications where certain colors of light are required. Outdoor scenes painted in daylight need daylight-like illumination to bring out the emphasis that the artist saw when s/he created it, just as something painted as a night scene needs more “candlelit” coloring. One example would be Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch”, which has extremely specific requirements.
In that particular work you can “feel” the weight of all that darkness overhead (nearly one third of the picture). The vivid puddles of light force you to look at each emphasized item (as if in a spotlight, 300 years before such things were invented, in a style called chiaroscuro, meaning light/dark in Italian). Even the painting’s popular name is misleading since this was a daytime image.
The chiaroscuro style forces you to ask “Who is that little girl with the chicken and the revolver, and why is she important?”; “What is everyone looking at?”; and, “Why the contrast between yellow and black clothing in the foreground? Are they friends, or a senior and junior officer of The Watch?”
This Rembrandt masterpiece is a truly massive canvas at 12’ 6” x 14’ 11” (and about 1.3 times “life-size” scale). In 1715 C.E. it was heartlessly chopped down on three sides to make it fit a smaller room, and the pieces were lost. An artist’s copy from about 1866 C.E. shows some of the missing image.
Lighting it properly requires multiple light sources, but we must also retain the “dark sources,” too. Bad lighting would compromise everything that Rembrandt achieved with this work. It is hung in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, in a black frame, and mounted on a dark gray wall just to help emphasize the essential contrasts.
Professionals at Work
Art lighting can comprise an entire career for some people, and in many ways, it did for our founders. Jim Stephens and Tom Kretzschmar first met at a Fine Art lighting company in 1980 but had prior history in both Electrical Engineering and Architecture as their roots.
Once clients began to see the amazing things that they could accomplish in their new business venture when using thoughtfully designed lighting, the demand grew. The fellows saw no reason not to combine their skills in both art and architectural lighting to create the company you know today as Illuminations Lighting Design.
The Right White
We are intensely interested in getting your art lighting done in the absolute best way possible. That means knowing the entire Kelvin temperature scale of light coloration, as well as the required intensities, the shaping of the light, and where to draw the line between light and dark. It is no easy task, and we have a number of tools (and skills!) to make sure it’s perfect for you.
LED lights, for example, cover the entire spectrum. Particularly, for our purposes, it covers the white spectrum from the warmest, orangey-pink, to the hardest pure blue-white. Without that range, it would be very difficult to illuminate your art perfectly.
The amount or “intensity” of light is just as important. Not only must we obtain the perfect color, but we must provide the perfect quantity of light and, as noted above, that can vary over different portions of the artwork.
Art is Art, in All Its Forms
Our work includes paintings, sculptures, castings, kinetic art (such as fountains), topiary (such as your sculpted trees and hedge-work), right down to the fine details of a library bookcase, or cabinet lighting for your stamps, coins, or finest miniatures. With four decades of experience, you can believe that we have “done it all”!
With our experts on call, traveling all over the country to light some of the most prestigious collections in the entire world, it’s a safe bet that you will love our work. We don’t cut corners; we always clean up after ourselves; we always strive for perfection; and inevitably, our customers are always pleased, as they are delighted to attest.
We will use the correct type of lighting for each project, and it could be a variety of elements to achieve the best effect. Sometimes it is going to be track-style, low-voltage, halogens, or LEDs—and although rare, it might even require that ancient technology incandescents! Generally speaking, LEDs are the most versatile and are particularly useful for locations where access is difficult, and where you would like the bulbs to last for many, many years without the need of servicing.
Our greatest pleasure comes from solving your most baffling illumination challenges and making things work the way you need or want them to. There are so many ways do a job incorrectly, so we urge you to call us, because…
We’ll do it right!
Illuminations Lighting Design is pleased to be located in beautiful Houston, Texas, and while we provide service over quite a wide area, we always love to hear from River Oaks, Memorial, West University, Bellaire, Southside, Heights, and Royal Oaks, or whichever part of town you call home… But don’t forget that we provide expert Residential Electrical Services in Austin, Beaumont, College Station, Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio, and Midland as well.
Call us today at 713-863-1133 and experience peace of mind and excellent service as we help you reach your dreams and keep your family safe. Take a moment to schedule a design consultation or visit us on Facebook to learn more about our lighting and electrical services. We’d love to hear from you!